a person sitting at a desk in front of a computer

Reimagining Uninterrupted Learning at Sacred Heart School in Tullamore

Dr. Kevin Marshall

Dr. Kevin Marshall

Head of Education, Microsoft Ireland

Read Time, 3 min.

As students and teachers found themselves away from the classroom environment and learning from home, schools were again adapting to different ways of learning to ensure quality education continues.

For the Sacred Heart School in Tullamore, Co Offaly, the staff and student body were well prepared to deal with this upheaval and continued to deliver education uninterrupted, as a result of their digital education journey starting a number of years ago, and which is now firmly a part of their educational experience.

Almost eight years ago, this transformative school decided to adopt a digital-first approach, meaning that when the pandemic caused disruption on our shores, this generation of digital natives and their teachers had the skills to adapt and were already familiar with this innovative way of learning.

 

Please note this video was filmed prior to the current public health restrictions.

The introduction of new technology at the school ushered in a new way of teaching as it moved away from the longstanding “chalk and talk” approach, where children watch while the teacher works at the board. Now, teachers can take their Surface device and walk around the room, projecting what’s on their device onto the board, and students can also project their screen to share their work. The device hasn’t replaced the teacher, it has simply become a tool to enhance the learning experience.

Teachers use Microsoft Teams to conduct classes which are then recorded, and they also use it to correct assignments and provide feedback to pupils. The breakout rooms function within Teams simulates a real classroom scenario. The teacher can allocate and oversee multiple projects, all the while students can share files, chat and collaborate on projects in real-time, both in and out of the virtual classroom.

Sacred Heart has also integrated Microsoft OneNote as it provides a digital canvas or whiteboard that is easily shared with students, where teachers can write, type or add links, videos, images and audio for students. It allows for a more interactive and immersive learning experience.

The use of Office 365 also makes learning more accessible, with tools like the Immersive Reader helping students with additional learning needs by providing audio versions of written documents or by using visual clues for words.

The time and energy invested in adapting this digital approach to learning came into its own during the COVID-19 lockdown, as teachers and students were able to quickly adapt to remote lessons and the disruption to their lives was minimised.

The Insights tab on Teams also gave them access to data on how students were engaging with the lessons and work.  And during the first lockdown, the school reported a 90% engagement rate with lessons across its entire student base.

“We have an unusual kind of aspect in that we’re quite a traditional school in the way we look, but we’re quite a progressive school in the way that we act.”

Pauline McKenna, Principal at Sacred Heart Tullamore.

“We’re leading in education in that we have fused quality teaching and learning with digital technology. We had spent about six years researching bringing in a device for our students and teachers. Repeatedly it came back to Microsoft, because they were not only delivering a device, but they were delivering an education package as well,” said Pauline McKenna, Principal at Sacred Heart Tullamore.

“We have students who have become active participants in their own learning and they will continue that long past the time they leave the Sacred Heart School,” McKenna added.

 

Remote Learning with Microsoft Surface for Education

Curious on how to transform your teaching and learning experience with technology? Redesign learning with Microsoft Surface for Education.

Discover more related articles per industry:

Education

  • Northern Ireland moves to cloud-first education

    Northern Ireland moves to cloud-first education

    Northern Ireland moves to cloud-first education All teachers in the region now being equipped with Surface Pro laptops Transforming how education is provided in Northern Ireland over the next decade is a crucial goal for the region’s Education Authority.  To meet digital skills needs over that period and beyond, the authority is implementing a versatile […]

Finance & Insurance

Government

  • Two people inside using Surface Go in office

    How technology is transforming the work of governments

    Governments have the ultimate responsibility to their citizens. People depend on the services they provide like no other institution. Whether in healthcare, education, business, roads, railways, water – it’s essential that government institutions are always at the forefront of social and digital trends. Cloud-powered technologies are playing a critical role in helping government agencies to […]

  • a plane sitting on top of a grass covered field

    Fáilte Ireland Rapidly Adapted and Innovated with Microsoft Power Apps

    Fáilte Ireland Rapidly Adapted and Innovated with Microsoft Power Apps  When the Covid-19 pandemic closed offices globally and truly changed how every organisation functions, it created additional unanticipated challenges for many. Fáilte Ireland, the National Tourism Development Authority, was one such organisation which had migrated much of its work to the cloud. The tourism body, which employs 450 people, identified that […]

Healthcare

Manufacturing

  • Uncovered: 4 Essential Field Service Trends For 2018

    Uncovered: 4 Essential Field Service Trends For 2018

    In a changing world of innovative new technology, connected devices, and shifting employee and customer needs, what trends are shaping the future for the Field Service industry and how can you embrace them? Trend #1: Putting the right tools into the right hands “It’s about empowering the field service engineer with more than just the […]

  • Guy standing next to plane looking at Smartwatch to check reporting.

    Air France and KLM subsidiary EPCOR predicts future failures with data and AI

    EPCOR provides maintenance, repair and overhaul services, including state-of-the-art test facilities for aircraft pneumatic components and Auxiliary Power Units (APU). The APU is responsible for starting the main engines and provide power to essential aircraft functions. By harnessing cloud-based APU data using innovative analysis and machine learning, EPCOR is helping airlines meet their cost, safety […]

Retail

  • A man standing in front of a truck

    Why leading Irish retailer Musgrave is ready for anything with cloud technology

    “When assessing the potential effects of major digital transformation projects on our business, we always think about three key constituents: colleagues, retailers, and consumers.” So says Paul Baguley, IT PMO for Musgrave Retail – Ireland’s leading food retail, wholesale and food service company. Together with its retail partners, who operate under leading brands including SuperValu […]

  • Store staff llooking and pointing at screen

    Helping store staff rise to the challenge of creating world-class experiences

    Consumers have more information and choice than ever. That’s why shopping experiences provide an opportunity to differentiate and delight customers – rather than competing on cost alone. The digital shopping revolution has given us access to companies and information that was unimaginable two decades ago – and it has raised our expectations of bricks-and-mortar retailers […]

Discover more related articles per dossier:

Customer Stories

  • Areal shot of the Johan Curijff ArenA in Amsterdam

    Pitch perfect? The football stadium enhancing their grass with IoT

    Is Johan Cruijff Arena the most innovative stadium in the world? It’s certainly looking that way. Well ahead of the curve on taking an environmental stance within their business practices, this Dutch arena achieved carbon neutral status before it had even become a global corporate priority. Now this European entertainment goliath turns its sights towards […]

Digital Transformation

  • Uncovered: 4 Essential Field Service Trends For 2018

    Uncovered: 4 Essential Field Service Trends For 2018

    In a changing world of innovative new technology, connected devices, and shifting employee and customer needs, what trends are shaping the future for the Field Service industry and how can you embrace them? Trend #1: Putting the right tools into the right hands “It’s about empowering the field service engineer with more than just the […]

Press

  • Image of a man and woman smiling

    Microsoft and Connect at Catalyst Inc

    Microsoft and Connect at Catalyst Inc It’s an exciting time to be working in the technology sector in Northern Ireland. More than ever before we’re seeing increased numbers of entrepreneurs, start-up businesses, and indeed multinationals setting up in the North. Working together and learning from each other encourages a strong technology ecosystem and ultimately yields […]

Security & Privacy

Tips

  • Group of two female and one male office workers brainstorming in informal office setting. Both women are using laptops while the man is writing. Large screen shown in background.

    2019 Modern Selling Trends in 5 webinars

    The relationship between buyers and sellers grows more complicated each day. Every potential partnership requires finding the right buyer, fully understanding their business, tracking progress through the buying cycle, and engaging them with the right content—when and how they want it. These shifting dynamics underscore the artistry of modern selling. When the time is right, […]